Being productive is a good thing. Usually. You get shit done, it solves your issues. But what happens when trying to get more shit done creates more issues? What about when it's 10pm on a Sunday night and you are stressing about not having done enough during the weekend? You didn't relax enough. Didn't clean enough. Didn't socialize enough. You don't feel rested at all. If anything, you are as tired or more than during the work week. Yet, you feel like you should have done more. That is an expectation. An expectation of how much needs to be done. One that, taking your energy, feelings, desires and time in consideration, is impossible to reach. Impossible? Really? Yes. Really. Think about it. You to work on that side project AND improve your mental health. The project takes very long to do and it isn't enjoyable to work on it most of the time. But you want to push it forward so bad.. so you spend most of the weekend doing that. Now it's Sunday night, you didn't do as much progress as you wanted. Tomorrow you have work. Your mental health is in shambles. You spend the work week recovering. You go to work. You struggle to focus. You take it a bit easy... You get off work and don't want to do anything. Yet, you find something mindless to keep you busy. It's not even fun, it's just to avoid thinking about the exhaustion. Saturday, you don't do much, still tired. Sunday comes and suddenly, HERE IT IS! The energy! The inspiration! The motivation! It is all back! And... the cycle repeats. You work all day long until you tire yourself out. You try to compensate for the lazy Saturday. Frustration starts to build up at the "slow progress" (compared to your expectations) of the project. You push through it but it's hard. Or maybe you don't. You stop and feel a tiny bit guilty. You distract yourself from it. Maybe some Youtube? Some gaming? Then, the solution came to you. If time and energy are limited and what you want (you might be saying "need") to do takes more than what's available, then the obvious solution is right there: increase productivity! If only you had better tools. If only you didn't have all these small roadblocks wasting all of your time on your projects. You start working on better tools. Learning new techniques. You learn goal setting. Time management. Task splitting. You track where most of your time goes and optimize your productivity by focusing on what is most time consuming. Somehow though... the issue is still there. But why is there this new project on my task list now? Why is there two projects and not one? Oh right... I was now able to squeeze two in there and work in parallel. Or alternate to keep motivation up. But.... it.. it doesn't work! I'm still tired as hell! I still take long breaks without doing anything! I still get the guilt and start spending entire days on the projects, not getting anywhere! You get deeper into it. You add milestones. Deliverables. Deadlines. You focus on productivity more and more like your life depends on it. You justify being more productive by thinking: "I'll get more things done and then I'll have more free time to relax and do other things I care more about." That, is what I call "Hyperproductivity". It's everywhere. You look for mental health tips? "5 tips to manage stress better! 5 tips to stop losing productive time! 10 tips to stay focused more! learn this new technique to memorize vocabulary faster!" Notice the words: It's always about "managing", "doing more" or "saving time". Not a single one has the focus on being happy and content. On being satisfied of what you did. Well here's my tip: listen to your feelings right now and keep doing it. Not the ones you had 2 weeks ago when you started this new awesome project. The ones you have RIGHT NOW. Or the next time you work on your project. Are you having fun? Are you frustrated? Are you feeling guilty? Those feelings are telling you what to do. They are a clear signs of if things are going right or wrong. Comprehend them. Accept them. Don't fight them, but understand why they are there. If you feel guilty about not doing enough, why is that? Do you *need* to be doing more to survive? Or are you pursuing goals you set 6 months ago and aren't interested in anymore? Feeling like you are having fun? Continue! Have fun! Pay attention to your feelings and when you aren't having fun anymore, it's ok to stop! Want to work on being more productive? You are motivated? Go right ahead! But notice how you feel along the way. You might learn very quickly some surprising things. In my case, most times I want to improve productivity, the motivation is caused by a negative feeling: anxiety. So I stop and take care of myself and of this feeling. I give it love. Sometimes, that's not the case and I genuinely have fun improving productivity, or working on projects. In that case, I notice that, give some love to the feelings and continue having fun! In conclusion, I'm getting the feeling that more and more people lose contact with themselves and how they feel. They throw themselves at anything and run away from negative feelings (which they might simply perceive as "pressure", a consequence of not paying attention for many years). If that's your case, I simply want to remind you that you are valid. Your emotions matter. You matter. Take care of yourself. <3 Love, AKL ~